Oak Bay Council Addresses Planning for Oak Bay Lodge

July 21, 2020


District of Oak Bay
News Release

July 21, 2020

Oak Bay Council Addresses Planning for Oak Bay Lodge

“The future use of the Oak Bay Lodge property is arguably the most important project for Oak Bay in a generation,” stated Oak Bay Mayor Kevin Murdoch after a marathon Council meeting Monday night. He was speaking to the “rise and report” of a letter which has helped inform the Capital Regional Hospital District’s (CRHD’s) approach to Oak Bay Lodge since last October (see attached), as well as motions clarifying process and goals for that site. “Council feels it is important people know about the regional discussions which have been underway for 18 months. I hope this letter highlights the advocacy already underway for a planning and consultation process that can facilitate new health services, mixed housing, and other benefits the region so desperately needs.”

While Oak Bay Council cannot comment on any in-camera resolutions of the CRHD Board that may have arisen from the letter, the Mayor expressed satisfaction with the CRHD’s approach.

“The potential of this land is very exciting, both for Oak Bay and the region. I’m grateful Oak Bay Council and the CRHD Board share common values including a commitment to fully engage the public and be open minded to a wide range of potential services and partners.”

CRHD Board Chair Denise Blackwell, while also unable to comment on specifics of any process underway, commented: “We see Oak Bay as a vital partner in the future of the Oak Bay Lodge land and look forward to working closely with them to achieve the best possible outcome for that property.”

While open to potential temporary use of the Oak Bay Lodge building, Council was clear that any such use should not put at risk project timelines, value, or community trust. Council also confirmed that if a proposed use does not comply with current zoning, it would request that consultation be respected as an essential component of a rezoning application, in accordance with the Local Government Act.

“Even during the height of the pandemic, the Province wisely recognized the importance of Public Hearings in maintaining public confidence and has made provisions to ensure they continue,” Murdoch explained.

Concluding his comments, Mayor Murdoch summarized: “Last week, the speculation was on temporary solutions; I hope the discussion can return to finding the best permanent future for this public asset. Council is looking forward to supporting the CRHD in this process, and the economic, social, and environmental wellbeing that it will bring to both Oak Bay and the region.”

Attachment: Letter of October 1, 2019 from Oak Bay Council to the CRHD Board.

- 30 -

For media inquiries, please call:
Kevin Murdoch, Mayor
District of Oak Bay